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My Dog Tulip

An animated adaptation of JR Ackerley's 1956 memoir of his life with his dog.

"One of cinema's odder love stories, but animator Paul Fierlinger's masterly adaptation gives it an envialble imaginative fluidity...Ackerley's fastidious prose and his detailed obsession with Tulip's scatalogical and sexual life is very funny indeed" (Sight and Sound). "A classic book, a film to cherish"( Philip French, The Observer).


JR Ackerley was one of the great literary editors of his day (working on the now defunct weekly The Listener), a writer of fastidious prose and as openly gay as he reasonably could be when homosexuality was still a criminal offence. In his 60s, he wrote two semi-autobiographical novels inspired by his Alsatian bitch, Queenie. In the second of these, My Dog Tulip, published in 1956, Queenie is called Tulip. Truman Capote called it "one of the greatest books ever written by anybody in the world".

Christopher Plummer narrates the film as as Ackerley, largely using the original text to describe the author's eight years with Tulip, the closest, most perfect friend he's ever had, and his discovery that dogs have quite different identities from humans. The film retains the detailed descriptions of Tulip's bowel movements and sex life that troubled many readers 50 years ago. Few canine tributes have ever confronted the awkwardnesses of pavement-fouling or their behaviour in heat – while the clever graphic style marks the switch between straightforward narration and surreal doggy reverie.